My Blog

Posts for: July, 2014

By Dean S. Arashiro, DDS, MS, LTD
July 17, 2014
Category: None
Tags: Untagged

Understanding Your Dental Anxiety

Do you ever feel anxious before your dental appointments?  Do you find yourself avoiding a dental appointment because of fear?  Some people don’t look forward to dental appointments any more than they look forward to visits to their physician.  Most dental procedures are not painful, but just being examined can make people feel stressed.  At S Wakea Ave Kahului, HI, your periodontist in Kahului, we strive to help you feel relaxed at every visit to our office.
Dental anxiety is very common, but it is a fear that can easily be managed, and even prevented, with the help of your Kahului dentist at S Wakea Ave Kahului, HI.  Whether you are afraid, or your child is, there is a solution for eliminating fear and making dental appointments more comfortable.  People with dental anxiety have a sense of uneasiness about an upcoming dental appointment, and may also have exaggerated worries or fears.  

What is Dental Anxiety?

People with dental anxiety have an awareness that the fear is totally irrational, but are unable to do much to change this.  They may exhibit classic avoidance behavior in which they will do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist.  Other signs may include:
  • Trouble sleeping the night before treatment or an exam
  • Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office waiting room
  • Crying or feeling physically sick at the thought of visiting the dentist
  • Intense uneasiness at the thought of receiving treatment
With the help of your dentist in Kahului, there are ways to overcome your dental anxiety and dental phobia before your next visit to S Wakea Ave Kahului, HI. 

By Dean S. Arashiro, DDS, MS, LLC
July 15, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   medication  

One of our primary goals in dentistry is to deliver effective treatment to patients with the least amount of discomfort. This is especially true after a procedure — controlling pain and inflammation will actually help reduce recovery time.

There are many strong pain relievers available, including prescription opiates like morphine or codeine. It has been shown, however, that healing and comfort are enhanced with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) because they not only minimize pain, but they also reduce inflammation after a procedure. One common NSAID is Ibuprofen, which works by blocking prostaglandins, a substance released by inflamed, damaged tissues. NSAIDs are very popular with dentists and other health professionals because they act primarily on the inflammation site and don’t impair consciousness like opiates. They’re also usually less expensive than pain medication requiring a prescription.

While relatively safe, NSAIDs do have side effects that could cause serious problems for some patients. The most common caution regards NSAID’s tendency to thin blood and reduce the natural clotting mechanism, especially if taken habitually over a period of time. They can damage the kidneys and the stomach lining (causing ulcers or dangerous bleeding), and they’ve also been linked to early miscarriages and heart attacks.

For these reasons, NSAIDs are not recommended for pregnant women, patients with a history of stomach or intestinal bleeding, or patients being treated for heart disease. In the latter case, NSAIDs may interfere with the effectiveness of low-dose aspirin therapy (another type of NSAID) to prevent future heart attacks or strokes.

Health officials recommend all patients limit their dosage of a NSAID to no more than 2400 milligrams a day for short term pain relief, unless otherwise advised by a doctor. For the most part, a single 400 mg dosage is usually sufficient for pain control during a post-procedure recovery.

Your dentist will typically obtain your medical history before you undergo a dental procedure, including the medications you’re taking. Depending on your current health status and the type of procedure you’re undergoing, your dentist will recommend a pain control regimen to follow after the procedure is over.

Following those recommendations, and alerting your healthcare provider if you encounter any side effects from pain medication, will help assure your recovery period after dental work is short, safe and uneventful.

If you would like more information on the use of NSAIDs to control discomfort after a dental procedure, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Pain With Ibuprofen.”